“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.” Isaiah 9:2
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the Light of the world.”” John 8: 12
On a recent education tour of the Holy Land, these verses of Scripture became very real to me. I was overwhelmed by the experience of being in Jesus’ homeland and listening to the tour guide relaying pivotal historical and biblical moments while pointing out the physical landmarks where it happened.
On our first full day of touring, we were taken to Mount Arbel. The guide indicated a trail (Jesus Trail) meandering through the Valley of Doves that was the ancient passage to the seashore of Galilee. Then she said, “It’s very highly probable that it’s the same road Jesus walked as He began His ministry.” I stood in awe as goose bumps formed on my arms. To the un-informed, it was just another rugged path in the valley, but to me it signified the reality of where my feet had landed and the faith I have in the One whom came to heal the broken hearted, to free the captives, to make the lame to walk, and to cause the blind to see.
A light came on in the darkness of my mind! In that specific moment of time, for me, the historical Jesus and the biblical Jesus merged to become one. Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying: this does not mean that up to this point in my faith I believed the historical and biblical Jesus are two different individuals. However, in that specific instant there was an awakening within my inner being as a greater understanding of Jesus lit up within me. Here I stood, overlooking the very path where Jesus trod to being His ministry.
I’ve been a Salvation Army Officer for 28.5 years. The number of years of service does not mean that I know it all – lol! Actually, it’s just the opposite. I’m still learning about Jesus, the Light of the world. In moments when the darkness of responsibility attacks, or when the darkness of doubt about calling is mine, the prophet Isaiah speaks into my life. His words in chapter 9:2 remind me that I don’t have to walk in darkness because, by faith, I see and walk in the Light.
Not only during the Advent Season, but every day is a celebration of the coming of this great Light. It is my prayer that each of us will see and respond to Him as we contemplate how we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus so that we, too, are a light that dispels the darkness.
“You are the light of the world… Let your light shine.” Matthew 5: 14,16.
Patsy Rowe, Major